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Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy TV Series Underway At Hulu

Don't panic. And for Pete's sake, make sure you've got your towel handy, 'cause the folks at Hulu are set to bring us a shiny new adaption of Douglas Adams' classic sci-fi novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

That marvelous news broke via a Deadline report that further noted Hulu brass have tapped Carlton Cuse (LostThe Strain, Bates Motel) as showrunner, and are bringing Wonder Woman's Jason Fuchs on board to adapt the challenging material.

For those unacquainted with Adams' beloved Hitchhiker's Guide novel series, the books are focused on a very English everyman by the name of Arthur Dent. At the behest of his pal Ford Prefect (who happens to be an interstellar hitchhiker and an alien in disguise), Arthur narrowly escapes Earth's demolition at the hands of an intergalactic road crew by thumbing their way aboard a spacecraft, which quickly whisks the pair off on an interstellar, metaphysical adventure of hilarious proportions. Along the way, Arthur and co. encounter all manner of eccentric characters; are tasked with helping answer the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything; and eventually find them setting off for the fabled Restaurant at the End of the Universe (which is also the name of second Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book).

Please believe us when we tell you that this summary of The Hitchhiker's Guide doesn't even come close to doing Adams' wildly original (and indescribably funny) sci-fi tale justice. Believe as well that no previous adaptation of Adams' book has managed to fully capture the mad-cap energy and blistering intellect at play within its pages.

Of those adaptations, the 1978 BBC Radio play based on The Hitchhiker's Guide came closest to capturing the spirit Adam's work, with the completely non-visual format allowing the show's players to err closer to the source material than any other translation. The BBC had less success with their television adaptation a few years later. The 1981 series did manage to hit a few high notes, but the small-screen, low-budget approach ultimately undercut the sheer spectacle of the story. 

The last go at adapting Adams' iconic book came in 2005, with music video director Garth Jennings bringing inspired, stylistic energy to his big-screen version of The Hitchhiker's Guide, using mostly practical effects to help build out the fantastical (though maddeningly bureaucratic) galaxy within, and casting talents like Martin Freeman, Sam Rockwell, Zooey Deschanel, and Mos Def in key roles. He even brought the late, great Alan Rickman on board to voice everyone's favorite paranoid (and deeply depressed) android, Marvin. While Jennings' adaptation got a lot right in attempting to service the comedic and emotional nuances of Adams' tale, the film ultimately failed to leave a lasting impression.

Part of the problem with Jennings' adaptation (and all those which came before) was in condensing the material to fit within certain pre-determined time frames allotted to radio shows, short-run BBC series, and movies. With any luck, Cuse and Fuchs will convince Hulu executives to let them tell the story in its entirety over as many as 10 to 12 episodes for the first season. Hey, if we're really lucky, that first season will be a smash hit and set the pair up to dive into the subsequent novels in Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide universe. Keep your fingers crossed on that front.

As noted, the proposed series has just been announced, so we're gonna have to wait a while to find out key information — like who Cuse and Fuchs cast in the show and when the series might actually make its way onto Hulu. Until then, Hitchiker's Guide fans will have have to keep thumbs firmly in the air. And if that ride never shows, we can always revisit the underrated 2005 film, which is currently streaming on Netflix.